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National yogurt maker invests in seven solar projects to reach climate goals

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 29th October

On Sustainability Day, national yogurt maker Stonyfield Organic announced a key milestone in its climate efforts: a new commitment to use 100% renewable electricity at its Londonderry, New Hampshire, manufacturing facility by the end of 2022, ahead of schedule, through its purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs) and by supporting the construction of new solar projects in New Hampshire, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Stonyfield Organic was born out of a farming school that taught sustainable farming practices and today, its mission is still health — healthy food, healthy people, healthy planet, healthy business.

To reach its new goal, Stonyfield Organic is supporting the construction of seven new solar projects, enabling the utilities to sell renewable electricity and allowing Stonyfield Organic to purchase the RECs created by three of the solar facilities.

“Transitioning our manufacturing facility in Londonderry, NH and the family farms we source from to renewable energy sources is a key part of how we get to our science-based target to reduce our emissions 30% by 2030. We’re excited to take this first step towards 100% renewable energy for our Londonderry, NH manufacturing facility ahead of schedule, so we can turn our focus to supporting the farms from which we source our milk directly in making this transition next,” said Britt Lundgren, director of sustainable and organic agriculture at Stonyfield Organic.

In New Hampshire, Stonyfield Organic has teamed up with project owner Aligned Climate Capital and developer GSSG Solar to help bring four of these solar projects to life. These solar projects are under construction and are currently expected to be operational by January 2022.

Two of the sites, located in Loudon and Conway, New Hampshire are located on land owned by private residents and the lease payments are helping them keep the land in their families. The other two New Hampshire sites are in Nashua.

“We are proud to collaborate with Stonyfield, Aligned Climate Capital and local New Hampshire landowners on these important projects. Stonyfield’s thoughtful commitment to sustainability was critical in the realization of these projects and a further testament to their contribution to the New Hampshire economy,” said Tomakin Archambault, CEO of GSSG Solar.

In the Midwest, Stonyfield Organic has teamed up with developer OneEnergy Renewables to support three projects that will sell electricity to local rural electric cooperatives. Rushford Village Solar, Stockton Solar and Stromland Solar represent an investment of over $8 million, and will generate cost-effective electricity for the rural communities of Fillmore and Winona Counties in Minnesota and Buffalo County, Wisconsin. The land around the panels will be either grazed by sheep or planted to pollinator prairie habitat. The land to host the projects will be leased from local farm families and municipalities and will generate reliable income over the project life for the landowner partners. These projects are currently projected to start commercial operations in November 2021 and the sale of renewable energy credits (RECs) to Stonyfield Organic will start in December 2021.

By separately leveraging its electricity load and converting that revenue into buying power, Stonyfield Organic can support new renewable energy developments both locally and nationally, as well as reduce costs overall and support more renewables. The RECs will enable Stonyfield Organic to attain 75% renewable electricity for the Londonderry manufacturing facility. Stonyfield Organic is actively looking for additional impactful projects and sustainable energy programs to attain the remaining 25% by the end of 2022.

News item from Stonyfield Organic